Don’t Forget The Heart

Have you ever heard of an age discrimination act? I am not very familiar with it, but the basic idea is not discriminating against ages when laying people off. When Mark was laid off from Hawker a few years back, we got a large stack of papers proving Hawker did not discriminate against ages.
What was the proof? A list of everyone of a certain age in each specific position. Example, there were four 23 yo Aerospace Engineer I’s. The paper further supplied the information of how many people were laid off in each like-age like-position category. The proof that they did not discriminate against ages was that no one who was the only person in their like-age like-position category was laid off. What case would someone have that “you picked on me because of my age” if Hawker could then show “no we did not, you were only one out of four Mechanical Engineer level 2 aged 29 who got laid off”? (Not actual quotes). By fulfilling the guidelines to NOT discriminate against age, they laid off BASED ON AGE. Is that not ironic? We were by no means upset or angered by the this fact, but we did find it rather saddening.
Laws can not guide hearts. They never have and they never will. Laws that TRY to (ex. discrimination and hate laws) are not only rather silly, but are ineffective. It is often possible to obey guidelines or laws, and still do what the rules are designed to guard against. Institutions can not put enough laws into place to make moral people.

Thankfully, we are not ruling a nation or running an institute, we are raising a family. We are able to get to the heart of the matter and train the heart. Whether or not the child keeps what he or she is taught is their decision, but it is up to us to teach them and pray that they will be willing learners. It is something extremely important to do.


Without heart training, discipline is nothing more then behavior modification and has little to no lasting benefits. It teaches our children to do what appears to be “right” without necessarily effecting their heart.

Establishing a rule to “share toys” does not teach generosity.

Establishing a rule to not “hit your sister” does not teach loving kindness.

Establishing a rule to “clean up your room” does not teach good stewardship.

We must get to the heart of the matter.

Rules without discipling their heart teaches that obeying rules is all that matters and you can do anything you can get away with. It is making sure someone goes through the motions of virtue without teaching virtues. We must not just give our kids a list of rules, but teach them about the ways of our Lord. In order to train, raise up, and effectively disciple we must, must, must focus on the heart.

A great book that focuses on heart oriented discipline is Don’t Make me Count to Three by Ginger Plowman. (affiliate link) I highly suggest this book!